Egypt AH 1293(29-H) 20 qirsh

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Courtesy Heritage Auctions
Courtesy Heritage Auctions

The coin shown is a silver twenty qirsh from the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. The obverse bears the toughra, or signature, of the sultan, with the denomination written below. A flower design is to the right of the toughra. The mintmark H is at the base, and stands for the Heaton mint, Great Britain. The reverse carries the year of mintage (year 29 of reign) followed by the script minted in Misr (Egypt). The year of accession (1293) is written below, and all the foregoing is enclosed by a wreath. The date of the coin translates to 1904 AD. Uslu[1] lists this issue as common.

This denomination represents a member of a coinage reform started in 1884 AD. The coin pictured here is from the first year of that reform. Previous to that date, with a value less than one qirsh were given in the unit 'para'. Though fractional qirshes were treated differently than previous years, qirshes and their multiples resembled pre-reform designs and compositions. The difference was the introduction of copper-nickel qirshes in certain years. This suite of denominations was continued until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and subsequent loss of influence in Egypt, in 1914 AD.

The coin shown was lot 21647 and sold on June 1, 2006 at the 2006 (World Coins) June Long Beach Signature Auction #410 for $575. The catalog description reads: "Abdul Hamid II 20 Piastres 1293AH Year 29W, choice brilliant UNC, very light golden toning at the perimeters. Very scarce date with only 50,000 minted. Rare and very popular 'crown' in this quality."

Recorded mintage: 50,000.

Specifications: 28.0 g, 0.833 fine silver.

Catalog reference: KM 296.


  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, 47th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
  • [1]Uslu, Kaan, Beyazit, M. Fatih, and Kara, Tuncay, Ottoman Empire Coins, Istanbul: Mas Matbaacilik A.S., 2007.

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